::Literate Blather::
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Random Musings on Hollywood While Waiting for the Academy Awards to be Cancelled

  • The new Ironman movie starring Robert Downey Jr. – set to hit theaters on May 2 – looks like a flop. While the trailer shows Downey eating up the screen with his deadpan humor, the premise that he’s kidnapped to assemble a missile and instead creates “Iron Man” armor to escape is – well – right out of the Funny Pages. I’m predicting a movie closer to the lame factor of “Fantastic Four” than the wow factor of “X-Men.”
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman ripped through Hollywood in 2007 with three unmatched performances in “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead,” “The Savages,” and “Charlie Wilson’s War.” Yet he was only nominated for best actor in a supporting role for “Charlie Wilson’s War.” One wonders who Hoffman managed to piss off not to get the nod for a best actor nomination. Maybe it’s because he looks like he rarely bathes or combs his hair.
  • The 2005 film “Hard Candy” is an underrated gem. The movie begins as a story of a pedophile that picks up a young girl at a coffee shop and then does a complete 180. It’s a magnificent example of how to pull the rug out of from under an audience. But not only is the plot constantly twisting and the tension ratcheting up, the performances of the two leads – Patrick Wilson and Ellen Page – are deep and complex. If you haven’t seen it, you should do yourself a favor and rent it.
  • I got blasted for a post I did more than a year ago called “The Yawn-Inducing Films of Stanley Kubrick” where I opined quite articulately that “2001: A Space Odyssey” sucked. I still stand by my point that Kubrick’s esoteric films were made for himself and for nobody else resulting in overly long, boring movies. But I don’t question the man’s intelligence or his desire to try and create something more. I just believe he failed. However, this is a link to one of the best explanations of “2001” that I’ve ever seen. It’s done in flash video and is quite entertaining – something that Kubrick never was.
  • Sad news: the death of Heath Ledger. The trailer for “The Dark Knight,” the sequel to the hit “Batman Begins” features Ledger as the legendary villain The Joker. It looks like it could have been a breakout role for the young actor who showed so much promise in “Brokeback Mountain.”
  • One great aspect of the Web is the humor – the ability to tap into the creative talents of geeks, freaks, and humorists from all over the world. Case in point: Hitler and the Cowboys. It was made by the folks at Cracked.com (who apparently can’t spell the word “lose”). But if you are a fan of football and the NFL – then this one will have you in tears.
  • The movie “Gone, Baby, Gone” should have been nominated for an Academy Award for best picture. While Casey Affleck was miscast as the lead (he just looked way too young for the role), he did a remarkable job with what assets he had. I never gave up on Ben Affleck and now I’m looking forward to the next movie he decides to direct.
  • Is it me or is Christian Bale creepy (see above)?
  • M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Happening” is set for release in June of this year. Talk about a director that is in desperate need of a hit. His last film “Lady in the Water” was terrible and one of the biggest disappointments of 2006. Before that was “The Village,” which felt like a CBS Sunday Night Movie. He’s yet to match the promise he showed after his blockbuster “The Sixth Sense.” I’m already suspicious of “The Happening” because it stars Mark Wahlberg and John Leguizamo, two actors who are known for their ability to pick bad movies.
  • The bloody rampage known as the new “Rambo” movie is getting lousy reviews, which isn’t a surprise. But it does remind me that the first Rambo movie “First Blood” (see below) wasn’t that good either. It started off with promise and the action sequences in the Oregon woods were outstanding. But once Stallone moved out of the woods and back into civilization (and starting trying to act while preaching), the movie went downhill fast. Not to mention that he repeats the urban legend that Vietnam vets were spit on by protesters -- which has never been documented.


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Blogger Mo said...
I'm glad I'm not the only person who thought "The Village" played out like a CBS Sunday night movie!
I didn't even see the lady/water movie after the reviews, and have no interest in seeing it on DVD.
Love the title of your post, by the way. I saw very few movies in theatres this year, and the ones I did (like Pirates of The Caribbean 3) certainly aren't "best picture" candidates! So, I have little personal interest in the films behind Oscar this year, but still hoping for the industry's sake that the event is NOT canceled.

Blogger SQT said...
I have to say, I though Christian Bale seemed pretty normal (especially for celeb types). Is is the accent that throws you? I know he is in fact English. I believe his first big film was "Empire of the Son" in which he plays a kid separated from his parents in WWII and I remember seeing an interview with him back then (he was 14 I think) and he hadn't done any films using an American accent yet.

Blogger GFS3 said...
Hi Mo:
I'm hoping the Oscars aren't canceled either, but it isn't looking good.

There's something about Bale's mouth and his tiny teeth that throw me. Admittedly, the English accent doesn't help.

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